If You Take a Mouse to School

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If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask for your lunch box. And when you give children this irresistible book-and-tape package, they'll want to hear Joan Allen's animated reading of if you take a mouse to school again and again. . . .

My Lunchbox: a silly song that will make your mouth water for lunch.

A reading of if you take a mouse to school by actress Joan Allen.

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If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask for your lunch box. And when you give children this irresistible book-and-tape package, they'll want to hear Joan Allen's animated reading of if you take a mouse to school again and again. . . .

My Lunchbox: a silly song that will make your mouth water for lunch.

A reading of if you take a mouse to school by actress Joan Allen.

Big Words: practice your vocabulary with this upbeat tune.

Anecdotes about Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond.

Read along! A reading of the book with turn-the-page signals.

Follows a boy and his mouse through a busy day at school.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bringing a plucky mouse to school isn't the wisest idea, no matter how much fun it might seem. Thankfully, the bestselling duo of author Laura Numeroff and illustrator Felicia Bond -- creators of If You Take a Mouse to the Movies and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie -- have teamed up to show us the hijinks a whiskered school guest could cause.

Starting with asking for your lunchbox, this critter is set for mischief. The feisty mouse asks for a snack for later (cookies of course), a notebook, and pencils, and wants "to share your backpack, too." After he arrives at school, the pushy classmate tries his hand (make that paw) at math and writing on the blackboard, afterward whipping up a messy, pink science experiment and building a "little mouse house" from blocks. The schooltime antics don't stop there, but a busy mouse tends to get hungry after so much playtime. Naturally his snack is in the lunchbox, which is stored "in a safe place" with his new picture book inside.

Following the whimsical style of their previous books, Numeroff and Bond have done it again. Their high-adrenaline mouse will have readers cheering while their eyes comb the illustrations for extra nibbles of fun. Although the book's main human character looks positively exhausted at the end, we can only holler for more of the little guy with the huge school spirit. Matt Warner

Publishers Weekly
In a rollicking romp, Numeroff and Bond send the energetic, exuberant star of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Take a Mouse to the Movies (and his boy sidekick) into the classroom. After pulling on his overalls, the diminutive character makes his first request ("He'll ask you for your lunchbox") and then demands a snack, notebook and pencils before climbing into the boy's backpack. Once at school, the mercurial mouse happily bounds from one activity to the next: he spells "a word or two" on the blackboard (Bond shows these as an impressive list headed by "onomatopoeia"), conducts a science experiment (purple matter erupts from his beaker), builds "a little mouse house" out of blocks (the edifice looks quite elaborate) and fashions furniture for it with clay. Realizing he needs something on his new bookshelf, the ambitious critter collects paper and pencils and creates his own book, which he then wants to take home, in "your" lunch box. As animated as the whiskered student it depicts, Bond's art lives up to expectation, featuring her customary crisp colors and kid-pleasing details. Its school setting, tried-and-true tone and popular protagonist mark this title as a winner. Ages 3-7. (July) FYI: Numeroff will donate a portion of her royalties to First Book, a national nonprofit organization that promotes children's literacy. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The engaging mouse of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Take a Mouse to the Movies this time accompanies his young friend to school. He continues his usual practice of always "needing" or "wanting" something more. As he joins the students at the chalkboard, experiments in science class, eats lunch, builds a mouse house from blocks, and even writes a book, his antics add fun to the familiar activities. Again, Bond's sketchy colored drawings tell a considerably more elaborate story than the spare text. Visuals exploit the imaginative possibilities of words, creating a very charming anthropomorphic star. 2002, Laura Geringer Books/HarperCollins Publishers,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-That adorable rodent, dressed in his tiny blue overalls, returns with all the ebullience and adventurous spirit he displayed in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (1985) and If You Take a Mouse to the Movies (2000, both HarperCollins). This time he accompanies his human friend to school, and his enthusiasm for learning fascinates the class. Mouse joyfully discovers new activities, which include performing a science experiment, building a "mouse house" with blocks, writing a book, and more. Bond's illustrations are an essential part of the story, with visual clues that link it to the original-chocolate-chip cookies appear on pajamas, in a lunch box, and as a refrigerator magnet. White backgrounds allow the crisp, bright watercolors to stand out and invite perusal. With his minuscule backpack and expansive joie de vivre, the little charmer exudes excitement about everything he undertakes, and the day turns into a lively experience for mouse and boy.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
That well-known mouse runs his little boy ragged-this time by accompanying him to school. After packing a lunchbox full of treats and a backpack full of supplies, they head for the classroom. Things seem to be running smoothly until the mouse decides to do a bit of exploring. After trying his hand at the blackboard, demonstrating some impressive spelling and mathematical skills, he decides to attempt a science experiment. After a quick cleanup, he uses his artistic skills to build a house from blocks, furnishing it with clay furniture. While enjoying his new home, he munches his lunch then decides that he needs books for his bookcase. After writing a book, shooting hoops, skateboarding, and playing a bit of soccer outside, mouse is hungry again. A quick search for the missing snack ends happily back at school, leaving mouse to nibble on a cookie and do a bit of reading. With this pair's standard refrain, the lessons of cause and effect are not lost, even though the situations sometimes become outrageous. Still, no one will be able to resist Mouse's exuberance for learning as he happily charges through his day. A giggle-fest is sure to accompany this little guy wherever he goes. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060529581
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/12/2003
  • Series: If You Give... Series
  • Format: Other
  • Edition description: Mini Book and Tape
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.65 (w) x 11.66 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Numeroff

Laura Numeroff is the author of many books for young readers in addition to the If You Give . . . series, including The Chicken Sisters and Laura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide To Living With Your Monster. She loves to play tennis and travel and lives in Los Angeles, California. A portion of her royalties will be donated to First Book, a national nonprofit organization that promotes children’s literacy.

Laura Numeroff, autora de numerosos libros para niños, entre los que se incluye la conocida serie Si le das . . . , The Chicken Sister y Laura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster. Vive en Los Angeles, California, donde le encanta montar a caballo, leer biografías y jugar con sus mascotas. Parte de las regalías obtenidas por este libro serán donadas a First Book, una organización nacional sin ánimo de lucro que promueve el amor por la lectura.

Felicia Bond is the illustrator of numerous books for children. In addition to the If You Give . . . series, she has also illustrated, among other titles, Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and Little Porcupine’s Christmas by Joseph Slate. She’s the author and illustrator of the Poinsettia books, The Day It Rained Hearts, The Halloween Play, and Tumble Bumble. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Felicia Bond ha ilustrado muchos libros para niños. Aparte de la conocida serie Si le das . . . , también ha ilustrado Big Red Barn por Margaret Wise Brown y Little Porcupine's Christmas por Joseph Slate. Es la autora e ilustradora de los libros Poinsettia: The Day It Rained Hearts, The Halloween Play y Tumble Bumble. Le encantan los animales, los libros al igual que cocinar. Vivió en Nueva York durante muchos años, y ahora vive en Austin, Texas, y Santa Fé, Nuevo México.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laura Joffe Numeroff
    2. Hometown:
      Brentwood, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 14, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.F.A. with honors, Pratt Institute, 1975; attended Parsons College, 1975
    2. Website:

Interviews & Essays

A Conversation with Laura Numeroff
Q. The If You Give a... series has a unique style of its own. Where did this style come from and how has it contributed to the success of the series?

A. The idea for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie came to me on a long, boring car trip. I had an image in my head of a little mouse nibbling on a gigantic chocolate chip cookie. I pictured him getting crumbs in his whiskers, and then wanting some milk, and so the whole story unraveled right until the end when he was thirsty again and wanted another glass of milk! I've been told by parents and teachers that kids like the circular pattern of the If You Give a... books, and how one thing eventually leads to another. When I first read the story to a classroom, the teacher said, "That’s a wonderful circular story." I had no idea what that was, as I had never set out to write one!

Q. Tell us about the various charities you are involved with, particularly First Book. Why is it important to give a child his or her first book?

A. I made a decision a few years ago to start donating a portion of my royalties to charity. They have included the North American Handicapped Riders Association, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, as well as many others. I heard about First Book through HarperCollins and thought the idea of a giving a child his or her own book, when they otherwise would never have the opportunity to own one, was wonderful. Books can open up new worlds, inspire kids to use their imagination, and take them to places they'd never be able to go on their own.

Q. Your new book is called If You Take a Mouse to School. What made you decide to bring Mouse to school? Did you base any of the scenes on your own experiences?

A. Mouse and I don’t have much in common when it comes to school. First of all, he’s good in math! Also, I always wanted to do very messy science experiments in school, but never got the chance. I gave Mouse the opportunity so I could live vicariously through him. He’s also a bit of a sports nut, but I was always figuring out a way to get out of gym!

Q. Mouse’s curious nature enables him to make the most of his day at school. Describe your typical day.

A. My typical day starts out by cuddling with my dog Sydney and then taking him for a walk. After breakfast, I spend the morning catching up on phone calls and e-mails. I eat my lunch outside in my backyard. The view is spectacular and it always feels like a mini-vacation seeing the mountains and the city! Then I spend the rest of the day working on my latest book. Three days a week I go horseback riding or I go to the gym and work out with weights. I also like to hike on the trails near my house. And at night, I love getting into bed with my dog and cats and reading, especially biographies.

Q. Animals with active imaginations are an important part of your stories. How does your love of animals influence your work?

A. I have always loved animals as much as I love books. I still have the Field Guide to Dogs from when I was a child. I used to memorize as many breeds as I could. My dog, Sydney, is an Australian Shepherd. I also have two cats, Lily and Petunia. Sydney’s a sheepherder but since I don’t have any sheep, he herds my cats! They put up with it but you can tell by the look on their faces that they’re not amused! I often find them sleeping together, which is the cutest thing. One day I’d love to live on a farm and have llamas, cows, miniature horses, a few sheep, and more dogs and cats! Being such an animal lover, I try to write my books about them!

Q. Speaking of animals, Laura Numeroff’s 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster features a different kind of pet. How did you become such an expert on monsters?

A. I saw my first monster in my backyard. I made a note of it and continued to be on the lookout for more. Over the years, through all my travels, I’ve become quite the expert and have done extensive research on the behavior of monsters. They never fail to amaze me! I’m still hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare Jiggledy Finkler!

Q. What books inspired you to become a writer?

A. As soon as I was old enough to have my very own library card, I would take out six books at a time (that was the maximum) and go back for more the following week. I loved Stuart Little by E. B. White, Eloise by Kay Thompson, and any book by Marguerite Henry or Beverly Cleary.

Q. The If You Give a... series is so beloved by children. How do you feel when you see the way children react to your books?

A. It is the greatest feeling in the world to see a young child happily clutching my book in anticipation of me autographing it. When they tell me it’s their favorite book, I am so touched and honored! But I’ll never forget the little boy who said, "You’re ruining my book," as I signed my name in it! I only hope kids enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed reading my favorites when I was a kid.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2012

    I take this book with me all the time, as I am a substitute teac

    I take this book with me all the time, as I am a substitute teacher.
    Children love this book, and I can easily read it to a kindergarten
    class all the way up to a third grade class. I love all of the Numeroff
    books, and I am looking forward to more from her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Good illustrations for kids.

    If You Take A Mouse To School is a book that will catch a kids attention. Felicia Bond drew really bright pictures and was very creative with her illustrations. Everything the author was saying matched really well with the illustrations. Laura Numeroff was a good author, but the writing was too short and simple, it needs more detail. This book is mostly entertaining because of the illustrations. Overall, I do not recommend this book because children would not be excited by the story, only by the illustrations.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    Great Book!!!!

    This book, along with Laura Numeroff's other books, is excellent. It was a great book to use on the first day of school in my classroom.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2007

    A cute book!

    A wonderful book! Kids like me would love this book for a gift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2002

    If You Take a Mouse to School

    I found "If You Take a Mouse to School" very fun, as did my children. The illustrations are what really make this book so good."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2002

    Great Book for Preschool Teachers

    This book was presented to 60 Early Childhood Staff. The overall response was an enjoyment for this story. Enjoyed it.... Thanks

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2002

    If You Take a Mouse to School

    This story is so fun for kids that they'll be wanting to bring mice of their own to school. The pictures are great and make you want to laugh! Definitely recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    A Silly Adventure, Kids love this book.

    Similar to the other Mouse books, kids really like it because it shows how things can easily get out of control. Great childrens humor book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002


    The enormously popular "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" picture book has proved to have tremendous staying power, and so, naturally enough, it spawned the sequels "If You Give A Moose A Muffin," "If You Give A Pig A Pancake," and "If You Take A Mouse To The Movies." Each features the same chain-reaction story structure, with varying degrees of success. Can lightning strike a fourth time with the new "If You Take A Mouse To School"? Sticking with the silent little mouse protagonist is a sure-footed first step, as is the story-rich school setting. After all, what better location to help young ones identify with the mouse's enthusiastic antics?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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